Friday, August 7, 2009


Talking with Lama Tashi about the issue of motivation in music making, he agreed with the statement, "One's motivation will affect the nature of the music one makes." 

He went on to tell of two famous lamas. One was known as one of the very best dharma scholars of his generation. Another was known for his great compassion, and his teachings always had more lamas in attendance than the great scholar had at his. So the great scholar went to a teaching given by the lama known for his compassion to see why he was so popular, even though it's very unusual for a high scholar to attend a lesser scholar's teachings. When asked what he thought of the popular lama's teaching, the scholar said he had learned nothing new, but that the teaching had given him a deeper understanding of the dharma.

Lama Tashi concluded by saying if you are making music to reach people and help them, your motivation will determine whether or not you make the connection and have a positive effect.

I asked him if, as my experience has indicated, every single teaching given by a Tibetan Buddhist lama begins with talking about setting the motivation. He agreed that is the case, and that karma (action) is simply karma. Motivation is what makes it good, neutral or negative.

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